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Byron Shire
July 16, 2024

Mullet traditions

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Again, another letter penned by ‘Richard White – East Ballina’ titled ‘No care at Shaws Bay’ (Letters, June 12). It would seem this is just another attempt to force people to accept his opinions, values, actions while completely disregarding theirs – condescending? 

Let’s set the record straight. The ‘mullet harvesting’ referred to in Mr White’s letter, has been an annual event since the early 1930s. The ‘mullet run’ commences around Anzac Day and usually goes over six to eight weeks. This is a sustainable fishery involving a fast-growing species. The practice is extremely target specific with zero by-catch and minimum disruption to the immediate local area of operation. 

At the end of the ‘mullet run’, the haulers, in consultation with the Ballina Council, undertake any necessary rectification work. No Mr White, they are not ‘hoons who tear up parks’. 

Mullet has one of the highest omega 3 levels compared to most other ‘fin’ fish. It is an excellent, affordable source of food in comparison to today’s food prices. 

The mullet haulers are all licensed ‘professional’ fishermen. They have all the relevant permits from DPI and the Ballina Council to operate on the beach. This group continues a tradition that is synonymous with Indigenous custodianship and stewardship for this important food source. 

Professional fishermen take environmental issues very seriously, because they see the effects of poor environmental practices every day and it can severely affect their ongoing livelihoods. Over the years the Ballina Mullet Haulers group have funded and supported several fish habitat projects launched by OzFish and Richmond River Chapter plus other river projects in the catchment. This support meant the purchase of high-quality water monitoring equipment. 

Mr White you ask… ‘why do they have to park all their cars in that area’? I suspect they, like you, are also ratepayers. 

Evan Davies, CEO, Ballina Fishermens Co-operative

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  1. Well said Evan, other Aussies are entitled to their traditions as well, it’s not just a one way street, surprise, surprise.

  2. Kaz, fish killers, really. Do you not eat fish? You must be a vegan, that explains a lot… .. …………………….

    • Use a mobile phone, drive an EV, use lithium batteries Kaz?

      You’re supporting toxic rare earth mining, a killer of people and the environment.

      But yeh, anyone who catches fish to feed humans is a “killer” and then there is the “vegetables killers” who pull things like carrots and potatoes violently from their underground homes to feed everyone. Outrageous stuff 🤦🏼


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